If everything looks easy for left tackle Laremy Tunsil, that’s because playing football is what he was born to do. A smooth, powerful, athletic player on the edge of the line, Tunsil is among the most prepared tackle prospects to enter the draft in the past five seasons.
Words like “elite” and “blue chip” get thrown around a lot in scouting, but Tunsil is truly an elite pass protector with blue-chip potential. He didn’t allow a sack in 2015 despite going against top-notch SEC competition and was rarely ever beaten for a pressure on the quarterback.
Tunsil is always in control, always poised and always shuffling his feet and keeping his hands loaded to strike. His length is a major asset in pass protection, and unlike many athletes with recovery speed at left tackle, he can also stun and stop defenders with his punch. He’s the total package.
The run game is a playground for Tunsil, who has unnatural quickness coming out of his stance. He gets to the second level with ease, and once there, he can do damage thanks to his balance, agility and toughness. He’s a finisher who will latch on to linebackers and ride them to the sideline.
If Tunsil doesn’t become a top-tier left tackle in the NFL, it will be because of injuries or work ethic. All of the tools are in place for him to step right in and become a dominant player on par with the best tackles in the game today.
NFL teams must look into the off-field issues with Tunsil. He was suspended for the first seven games of the 2015 season because he received “impermissible benefits,” such as a free rental car and plane ticket, but the league won’t care about that.
Another off-field issue had Tunsil and his stepfather filing charges against each other after a fight last summer. Tunsil was arrested, but the charges were later dropped. Teams I’ve talked to aren’t concerned here, as they feel Tunsil was protecting his mother.
But that’s not all. At the combine, Ole Miss teammate Robert Nkemdiche dropped a bombshell during his press conference when he mentioned Tunsil was in the room with him when he fell out of a fourth-floor hotel window in Atlanta.
Nkemdiche, who was charged with possession of marijuana, told the media crowd at the combine that there were others in the hotel room (name-dropped "Laremy" as one of the people in the room), said that he (Robert) was only drunk and that the drugs in the room weren’t his. Easy dot-connecting has Nkemdiche pinning the drugs in his room on Tunsil, or at minimum, implying that Tunsil was involved.
Focusing purely on the field, there is little to worry about. Tunsil broke his leg and dislocated an ankle in the 2014 Peach Bowl, but he returned to form immediately once the NCAA cleared him to play again. He also missed two games in 2014 due to a torn bicep, which means he’s never played a complete season in college.
Weight: 310 lbs
40 Time: N/A
Arm Length: 34 ¼"
Short Shuttle: N/A
PRO COMPARISON: Tyron Smith, Dallas Cowboys
FINAL GRADE: 7.50/9.00 (Round 1—Top 10 Pick)